SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Seven Bay Area counties require everyone to wear face masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
The order is effective from Tuesday August 3.
Health workers representing Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties made the joint announcement on Monday afternoon.
This is a “short-term, evidence-based strategy” to reduce transmission of the delta variant and help keep schools open, said Dr Lisa Santora, deputy health officer for Marin County .
The state of California began allowing fully vaccinated people to remove their masks in public spaces in June. Since the grand reopening, the delta variant of COVID-19 has sparked growing concern among health officials who have recorded an increase in cases and hospitalizations.
Health officials have confirmed that the delta variant is “much more transmissible than previous forms of the virus.”
Bay Area officials said the delta variant infects a “small percentage” of vaccinated Bay Area residents, but they are still highly protected against serious illness, hospitalization and death.
“We know that face coverings prevent the virus from circulating, and with the spread of contagious variants, it has become clear that wearing a mask is necessary again,” said Dr Sundari Mase, county health official. from Sonoma. “Masking and vaccinations are the most important tools we have to end the pandemic. The vaccine is safe, effective, free and widely available. We encourage all residents to do their part by wearing their masks to ensure their safety, that of their families and their community. “
On Saturday, the state’s health department officially reversed the course and began recommending wearing the mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
Prior to that, the federal government had also started recommending that people wear masks in hot spots of the virus.
Last week, San Mateo County was the first in the Bay Area to once again require indoor masks for everyone, but only at county facilities.
“As San Mateo County joins with its neighbors in issuing these orders, the goal is to avoid disrupting the day-to-day operations of businesses and residents,” said Scott Morrow, MD, county health official. of San Mateo in Monday’s announcement. “We want our communities to remain open while being as safe as possible. “
Businesses in these seven Bay Area counties will be required to implement indoor face mask ordering.
Health officials also suggest that people socialize with outdoor activities.
Statewide, California health officials reported an increase in COVID trends across all areas on Monday.
New cases per 100K increased an average of 16.7, new deaths per 100K increased by 0.03 and 6.7% of all COVID tests performed came back positive, reports the California Department of Health.
More than 44 million vaccines have been administered in California.